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Partysan
2010-12-08, 10:41 PM
Since I didn't have particular wishes, I asked my family to present me with some books for christmas. Not asking for something else, I'm pretty sure my parents will be willing to get me quite a few.
I now ask for your suggestions on enjoyable literature, your personal favourites and general recommendations.
I like most styles of fiction, but I dislike historical novels, since real history is so fundamentally frustrating that I get angry and depressed at the same time reading them, which is not the way I prefer to be in my free time.
I have a special love for martial arts in stories, but only if they are presented well. I also really like instructional scenes, so books with protagonists yet to become heroes instead of just being it are most welcome.
I read English and German. Here's the books I have put on my list because of hearing them being recommended:
- The Name of the Wind
Everyone in the playground says it's very well written, so I'm giving it a try.
- Furies of Calderon
One of my PbPs is based on it so naturally I'm interested. Scenario is also interesting.
- The Dragonbone Chair
I borrowed this series in german several years ago, now I want to read it again.
- Metro 2033
A friend recommended it and i think the scenario is interesting. Since the original is Russian, I'm reading this in German, no point in choosing one translation over the other as long as I don't hear about one being superior.

I'm eternally thankful for you doing me the favour of pointing me towards the gems in the vast mass of soiled paper.

Innis Cabal
2010-12-08, 10:47 PM
Skip the Dragonbone Chair. Dear gods skip the whole series. Long, overly verbous and dull with no real aim to the whole thing.

It tries to be Tolkien. And fails.

Jallorn
2010-12-08, 10:48 PM
Check out the Discworld books, they're good.

Partysan
2010-12-08, 10:50 PM
Um, yeah, I'm a big discworld fan already :smallbiggrin: But I'm looking for things I don't know yet.

DomaDoma
2010-12-08, 11:14 PM
Ooh, how about the Novels of the Change? The premise is that in March of 1998, gunpowder, electricity, internal combustion and so forth suddenly stopped working. (And I know you're all going to ask, so: Magic. Sufficiently Advanced Aliens. Something of that nature. And it does actually get an explanation eventually, but it's a spoiler.)

The first thing this means, of course, is that tractors and trucks are no longer operational, and the first thing on everyone's agenda is to establish a food base. Some groups are considerably nastier about it than others. That's the first book, Dies the Fire, and a damn fine stand-alone if you don't want to invest into the whole nine-book series.

The next two books deal with a war between the benevolent factions and an iron-fisted feudal state once everything's settled. (The feudal overlord's wife is a stand-out; she's written so many additional passages to the Evil Overlord List, it's dizzying.) It's here that fantasy elements really begin to show; it seems that the void left by technology is being filled, trickle by trickle, with the supernatural. The first three books, again, do very well by themselves.

If you go on past that, though, don't expect a decent stopping place for six books. (And two of those books aren't even published yet!) As it's a twelve-year timeskip from the previous two books, do expect sleeping spells, prophetic dream sequences, blessed magic swords, mind control... Me, I quite like that stuff, but it's not what you'd expect to be in for when you finish Dies the Fire, so at least you're warned.

Serpentine
2010-12-08, 11:23 PM
Skip the Dragonbone Chair. Dear gods skip the whole series. Long, overly verbous and dull with no real aim to the whole thing.

It tries to be Tolkien. And fails.It's one of my favourites. So ner :smalltongue:

I recommend Robert C. O'Brien, John Wyndham and Richard Adams. And also Tad Williams' other books, especially Tailchaser's Song.

Fri
2010-12-09, 02:51 AM
Martial art, sci-fi/fantasy, and instructutional as how the hero starts from the beginning to be a real hero.

Read the first book of Dune if you haven't.

Really, if you've read In the name of the wind, you should read dune. I havent' read In the name of the wind (been meaning to), but that book, especially it's protagonist, is often compared to the first book of dune.

It's one of my favourite novel. Don't need to read the rests, it works well as a standalone.

DomaDoma
2010-12-09, 08:35 AM
Really, if you've read In the name of the wind, you should read dune. I havent' read In the name of the wind (been meaning to), but that book, especially it's protagonist, is often compared to the first book of dune.

Now, if you'd said "especially its wheels within wheels", we might have had something, but if the main comparison is that the protagonist is like Paul Atreides... that makes me a bit less likely to read it.

Jamin
2010-12-09, 08:40 AM
Ooh, how about the Novels of the Change? The premise is that in March of 1998, gunpowder, electricity, internal combustion and so forth suddenly stopped working. (And I know you're all going to ask, so: Magic. Sufficiently Advanced Aliens. Something of that nature. And it does actually get an explanation eventually, but it's a spoiler.)

The first thing this means, of course, is that tractors and trucks are no longer operational, and the first thing on everyone's agenda is to establish a food base. Some groups are considerably nastier about it than others. That's the first book, Dies the Fire, and a damn fine stand-alone if you don't want to invest into the whole nine-book series.

The next two books deal with a war between the benevolent factions and an iron-fisted feudal state once everything's settled. (The feudal overlord's wife is a stand-out; she's written so many additional passages to the Evil Overlord List, it's dizzying.) It's here that fantasy elements really begin to show; it seems that the void left by technology is being filled, trickle by trickle, with the supernatural. The first three books, again, do very well by themselves.

If you go on past that, though, don't expect a decent stopping place for six books. (And two of those books aren't even published yet!) As it's a twelve-year timeskip from the previous two books, do expect sleeping spells, prophetic dream sequences, blessed magic swords, mind control... Me, I quite like that stuff, but it's not what you'd expect to be in for when you finish Dies the Fire, so at least you're warned.
Are these family friendly or more adult? ie swearing sex violence ect

DomaDoma
2010-12-09, 09:01 AM
There's sex of the fade-to-black variety, but the violence tries for a really gritty edge; it's one of those stories that make a point of mentioning that the sphincter releases when you die and that even if you win, you could very well lose a limb to infection. And there's plenty of swearing, at least where Mike Havel's group is concerned.

Also, nightmare fuel. Especially in Dies the Fire and everything from The Sunrise Lands on.

So yeah, not especially family friendly.

LCR
2010-12-09, 09:57 AM
Are you willing to try non-fantasy/sci-fi literature?
If you do, I could recommend quite a few books to you, if you'd like.

Cyrion
2010-12-09, 11:13 AM
Some books I've enjoyed that don't get mentioned a lot around here:

Dragon Prince (Melanie Rawn, fantasy)
The Flanders Panel (Perez-Reverte)
Mr. Vertigo or The Book of Illusions (Auster)
Perfume (Susskind)
Without a Hero or The Tortilla Curtain (Boyle)
A Prayer for Owen Meanie (Irving)
The Alchemist (Coelho)

Ashtar
2010-12-09, 11:28 AM
The Gone-Away World (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gone-Away-World-Nick-Harkaway/dp/0434018422/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1291911988&sr=1-1) has a post apocalyptic, pig-powered generating, martial arts fighting, strangeness to it. And it's fun to read, too. I recommend it.

I read the Millenium Trilogy (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Larsson-Collection-Millennium-Trilogy-Hornets/dp/B003VEVG32/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1291912037&sr=1-5), the first two books being fun, the last being a more extended epilogue. They are quite enjoyable.

Metro 2033 is really kinda strange. I usually like post apocalyptic novels, but I must admit the Russian style felt a bit dry. I did like the story, but felt a bit cheated by how the resolution was terse and could of had more impact written differently. But a great book none the less.

warty goblin
2010-12-09, 11:40 AM
Skip the Dragonbone Chair. Dear gods skip the whole series. Long, overly verbous and dull with no real aim to the whole thing.

It tries to be Tolkien. And fails.

I second this motion. Read half of that book, became desperately bored, stopped.

I did finish Tailchaser's Song, and was similarly unimpressed. When it comes to talking animals, Watership Down is so much better it fails to be humorous.

Do read Watership Down, the writing is phenomenal, the characters well rendered, the story well told. One of my favorite books.

the Witcher books might also be worth a look. The Last Wish and Blood of Elves are available in English, I think they are all available in German but don't know for sure. Either way some of the best done fantasy I've read in the last few years.

Partysan
2010-12-09, 06:07 PM
It's one of my favourites. So ner :smalltongue:

I recommend Robert C. O'Brien, John Wyndham and Richard Adams. And also Tad Williams' other books, especially Tailchaser's Song.
I'm going to listen to you, and if it's only because your avatar's sexiness (it isn't). Would you care to give specific books or those authors (besides the obvious Watership Down)?


There's sex of the fade-to-black variety, but the violence tries for a really gritty edge; it's one of those stories that make a point of mentioning that the sphincter releases when you die and that even if you win, you could very well lose a limb to infection. And there's plenty of swearing, at least where Mike Havel's group is concerned.

Also, nightmare fuel. Especially in Dies the Fire and everything from The Sunrise Lands on.

So yeah, not especially family friendly.
Doesn't matter, I'm not a family, of age and not easily disturbed. These sound interesting, I might add the first to my list, so thanks!


Some books I've enjoyed that don't get mentioned a lot around here:

Dragon Prince (Melanie Rawn, fantasy)
The Flanders Panel (Perez-Reverte)
Mr. Vertigo or The Book of Illusions (Auster)
Perfume (Susskind)
Without a Hero or The Tortilla Curtain (Boyle)
A Prayer for Owen Meanie (Irving)
The Alchemist (Coelho)
I've read Perfume and the Alchemist, I'll look into the other ones and maybe choose one or two. Thanks to you too!


The Gone-Away World (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gone-Away-World-Nick-Harkaway/dp/0434018422/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1291911988&sr=1-1) has a post apocalyptic, pig-powered generating, martial arts fighting, strangeness to it. And it's fun to read, too. I recommend it.

I read the Millenium Trilogy (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Larsson-Collection-Millennium-Trilogy-Hornets/dp/B003VEVG32/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1291912037&sr=1-5), the first two books being fun, the last being a more extended epilogue. They are quite enjoyable.

Metro 2033 is really kinda strange. I usually like post apocalyptic novels, but I must admit the Russian style felt a bit dry. I did like the story, but felt a bit cheated by how the resolution was terse and could of had more impact written differently. But a great book none the less.
I had to get used to the Russian style as well, but I took a liking to it. I've read 1 1/2 of the Larsson books, not particularly impressed, but enjoyable, however I won't buy them. The Gone-Away World seems to be fresh and interesting, I'm going to check that out, so thanks!


I second this motion. Read half of that book, became desperately bored, stopped.

I did finish Tailchaser's Song, and was similarly unimpressed. When it comes to talking animals, Watership Down is so much better it fails to be humorous.

Do read Watership Down, the writing is phenomenal, the characters well rendered, the story well told. One of my favorite books.

the Witcher books might also be worth a look. The Last Wish and Blood of Elves are available in English, I think they are all available in German but don't know for sure. Either way some of the best done fantasy I've read in the last few years.
The Witcher books! I played the game and wanted to read the books but totally forgot about it! Thanks for reminding me!

Serpentine
2010-12-09, 11:21 PM
Sure.
Robert C. O'Brien: Didn't write many books, and might even have died before he finished his last, the post-apocalyptic Z for Zachariah. The Rats of Nimh is almost certainly his most famous. The Silver Crown is a peculiar modern-day fantasy about a little girl who gets a mysterious gift for her birthday, the same day her house and her family is burnt to ashes. His only other book was A Report From Group 17, but I haven't read it and don't know what it's about.

John Wyndham is most well known for The Day Of The Triffids, which is an excellent story. I also enjoyed Chryssalids, another post-apocalyptic story. Well... post-post-apocalyptic, after society has reemerged, medieval and mutation-fearful. I haven't read The Midwich Cuckoos, but it's the basis of Village of the Damned.

Of Richard Adams, I haven't read Watership Down but his Plague Dogs is one of my favourite books. It's been made into a cartoon which, oddly, is more depressing than the book.

The only Tad Williams book I've read that hasn't already been mentioned is one he co-wrote with someone else, Child of an Ancient City - sort of a cross between Dracula and 1001 Arabian Nights Tales.

Nibleswick
2010-12-10, 12:05 AM
I highly recommend anything by Alexander Dumas: Three Musketeers, The Man in the Iron Mask, Count of Monte Cristo etc.

If you like sort story humor, I rather like the works of Patrick F McManus. I should warn you though, it very much Idaho humor.

Partysan
2010-12-10, 12:52 AM
Thanks again, Serpentine.


Are you willing to try non-fantasy/sci-fi literature?
If you do, I could recommend quite a few books to you, if you'd like.
Sure, it's not as if I'd exclusively read fantasy/scifi, they're just an obvious choice when asking for books on a rpg forum.

Oh, and I've read and liked some of Dumas' works when I was younger, maybe I should get some from my local library. Being German however I don't know at all what Idaho humor is like. :smallbiggrin:

Elfin
2010-12-10, 10:53 AM
The Book Thief and The Messenger, both by Markus Zusak, are really fantastic. The first is historical fiction, and dark at that, but it's really just too good to miss.

Brewdude
2010-12-11, 02:36 AM
The standards:
The Black Company
A Song of Ice and Fire
Neal Stephenson (Everything he writes is gold)
Wheel of Time
Steven Brust's Jhereg series
Personal favorites:
Hell's Gate (Fantasy vs WWI tech)

Nibleswick
2010-12-13, 02:14 AM
Thanks again, Serpentine.


Sure, it's not as if I'd exclusively read fantasy/scifi, they're just an obvious choice when asking for books on a rpg forum.

Oh, and I've read and liked some of Dumas' works when I was younger, maybe I should get some from my local library. Being German however I don't know at all what Idaho humor is like. :smallbiggrin:

Don't worry, most people in America don't know what Idaho humor is like.

A good story to illustrate it's like is one called "The Human Fuel Pump".

The story starts with Pat trying to persuade his neighbor Al Finley that it is not his fault (Pat) that that when he returned Al's lawn mower it no longer worked. While he is doing this Pat's friend Retch Sweeney pulls up in an old beat up truck that he just bought and want's to show off. Retch asks Pat to come for a ride out in the woods to see how the truck handles. Pat in order to distract Al from the lawn mower issue invites Al along as well. They all jump in the truck and head out of town. After a while they decide to see what this truck can really do and take it off road on a small twisty mountain trail. The trail is very narrow, a sheer drop on one side, and a cliff face on the other. A mile goes by and the trail gets just to darned narrow to keep going. Retch puts the truck into reverse to back them up the narrow, twisty trail of death, and the truck dies. Very carefully, they get out and start tinkering. Turns out the fuel pump is shot. Retch and Pat quickly jury-rig
some thing to take it's place. The only trouble with it is: in order to make it work some one is going to have to sit under the open hood of the truck perched carefully over the engine block dribbling gas directly into the carburetor. Retch and Pat nominate Al. Al responds by saying several nasty thing such as, "YOU GREAT CLAVICLE!" In the end Al does it and they do get home, and Al swears that he'll never lone Pat anything ever again. :smallbiggrin:

This does the story no justice, but I hope it give you an idea of Idaho humor is like.